House Democrats and some presidential candidates are currently engaging in some kind of wild competition on who can call for the highest marginal tax rates. This from a story from Yahoo News on Rep. Ilhan Omar, a new member of Congress from Minnesota:
Weeks after Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., made headlines by calling for a top marginal income tax rate of 70 percent in an interview with “60 Minutes,” her fellow freshman congresswoman, Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., suggested that the rich could pay even more.
“There are a few things that we can do,” Rep. Omar said in an interview with “Through Her Eyes.” “One of them, is that we can increase the taxes that people are paying who are the extremely wealthy in our communities. So, 70 percent, 80 percent, we’ve had it as high as 90 percent. So, that’s a place we can start.”
“The one percent must pay their fair share,” she continued.
Rep. Omar mentioned the tax increase as a way to pay for programs like Medicare for All and the Green New Deal being championed by Rep. Ocasio-Cortez.
The national defense budget is another area Rep. Omar has her eye on.
“I’m also one that really looks at the defense budget that we have, Rep. Omar said. “That has increased nearly 50% since 9/11. And so, most of the money that we have in there is much more than with we spend on education, on healthcare.”
Certainly, there is room to cut the defense budget, but interestingly enough, it is the one expenditure she cites that is specifically mandated to the federal government in our Constitution. But back to the subject of taxes, presidential candidate and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren has proposed her own special “wealth tax.” There are other tax hikes and class warfare initiatives proposed by other candidates.
We desperately need to get away from the thinking that all problem solving and solutions need to go through Washington. We are $22 trillion in debt and most of the representatives up there have been horrible stewards of our tax dollars. Not just for years but decades upon decades. Anybody paying attention, and not consumed by envy, knows the problem is not lack of revenue but profligate spending.
Furthermore, Gov. Roy Cooper wants to tie North Carolina to a broken and debt-saddled federal government through Medicaid expansion. There are lots of reasons to oppose that but I think one of the most obvious reasons is our federal government is broken and politicians are unable to muster up any courage to make the necessary changes to put us on a path towards fiscal sanity. It’s not compassionate to mismanage the money of taxpayers and bankrupt the federal government. I wrote about the entire dilemma recently in the News & Observer.
We should by now know the rich do in fact pay their fair share. In 2016, The top 1 percent of earners pay a greater share of individual income taxes than the bottom 90 percent combined. The top 50 percent pay 97 percent of all income taxes. Our federal income taxes are already plenty progressive, not regressive.
I hope North Carolina continues to set an example of low taxes in the nation. There is more to do like abolish the corporate income tax to spur greater economic growth and consider cutting sales and fuel taxes, which disproportionally harm lower income earners.
We somehow have completely abandoned many of the reasons we first instituted government in this country, one of the main reasons being to protect private property not plunder it. This country has to do something else besides the continual tax and spend policies that have left us so saddled with the debt we are inflicting serious and lifelong punishment for future generations.
Amazingly, we’ll have to wait and see if any lawmaker dares to go above that 90 percent number. At this pace, I wouldn’t bet against it.